COOL IT! in Schools
Last fall 2020, the First Things First Okanagan Education Committee reported on the success of the Cool It! program in schools in Summerland in raising awareness of personal climate actions that are possible. FTFO partners with BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) to reach kids and their families.
The program at the end of 2020 didn't have as much participation as previous ones possibly due to COVID-19, a younger cohort, and Christmas holidays. Even though there was low student engagement, Giant’s Head Elementary student actions could result in the projected, estimated annual savings of a total of 8.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) if they commit to maintain their actions for one year The whole report is a PDF for download.
For the 2020 fall term, First Things First Okanagan coordinated $2,500 in workshop sponsorship from the District of Summerland for BC Sustainable Energy Association’s (BCSEA) Cool It! Climate Leadership Training Program. With this generous sponsorship, The Cool It! Program reached 99 students through 4 workshops at Giant’s Head Elementary in Summerland.
Exerpt from the Report
In response to COVID-19, BCSEA redeveloped the Cool It! Program so that it could be delivered virtually through online workshops, with a supporting climate challenge that could be completed safely by students and their families. A new Climate Challenge Card was developed, which encouraged students to choose from a variety of actions that would reduce their carbon and ecological footprints while encouraging further investigation and reflection about climate change and sustainability. In Fall 2020, Giant’s Head Elementary was an exception to our virtual delivery model, with workshops able to continue to be safely delivered in-person. This was determined through consultation with the school, teachers and our environmental educator Ella Braden.
The chart below shows the 25 actions the students focus on as part of the multi-faceted program to reduce emissions and get points.